How to setup Dev Environment

To speed up development it makes sense to only have the IDE build the stuff that’s needed. The approach I use is to have Maven perform a full build of everything, more or less (including the example/demo app), so that the local cache in ~/.m2/repository is up-to-date. Then, in the IDE, exclude the parts that won’t change and include in the relevant parts of the example/demo app (which we can use to iterate on).

Maven Build

Perform a full mvn build, but exclude all of the incubator modules (vaadin in particular has some prereqs that aren’t important to us here), and explicitly bring in this module. Also include the 'wicket' variant of the demo app, as this also includes the graphql viewer (as well as the RO viewer).

mvn install \
  -D module-examples-demo-wicket \
  -D module-incubator-graphql \
  -D skipTests


In IntelliJ, ignore most of the projects except the ones to be changed or will want to read (eg core). Also, explicit include the relevant parts of the demo app (chances are that this will be excluded initially due to the default profiles.


  • exclude api (applib and schema)

    I find that IntelliJ can mess up with compiling applib as it depends on DTO classes in schema generated by the mvn maven-jaxb2-plugin plugin; since they change very infrequently, easier to simply pick them up as prebuilt libraries from ~/.m2/repository.

  • include isis-parent

  • include mavendeps/webapp

  • include commons

  • include all of core

    for the metamodel, interaction and runtime/runtimeservices. Since that is the bulk of core, it’s easiest to include everything.

  • include viewers/common

    as it makes sense for this to be a dependency

  • include incubator/viewers/graphql (of course!)

    graphql included modules
  • optionally include viewers/restfulobjects

    for a bit of "monkey see, monkey do"

  • exclude everything else

Then, add in parts of the demo app:

example demo app included modules

That is:

  • include examples/demo/domain

  • include examples/demo/web

  • include examples/demo/wicket/demo-wicket-common

  • include examples/demo/wicket/demo-wicket-jpa

    this is where the SpringApplication — DemoAppWicketJpa — resides. It’s faster to use the jpa variant rather than the jdo variant; no need to wait for the DN enhancer.

    you’ll notice that examples/demo/domain has both Jdo and Jpa entities. These are both compiled, however at runtime the Jdo variants are ignored because the DemoAppWicketJpa explicitly sets the "demo-jpa" Spring profile:

    System.setProperty("", "demo-jpa");


  • use interfaces

    • the beansort ABSTRACT could be implemented as gql interface

    • for input types for interfaces (like PaperClip) we could create a mutator for each implementation (f.e. addClipA, addClipB,..)